Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back to Guild!

Hasn't the summer flown by? We wait sooo long for summer to arrive, and this year it seemed to be later than ever, and then Pooof! It's over! I'm sure we still have lots of lovely days ahead, but September has arrived! And with it our thoughts turn to "Back to Guild" ( that's my take on  the proverbial Back to School.)
We go back to Guild next Tuesday evening, Sept. 15. Meetings begin at 7p.m. and new members are welcome! If you are new to quilting, or new to the city, or just want to check us out, please come and join us next Tuesday evening. We meet at the Johnston Avenue Senior Centre on the north side. Johnston Ave. is the next street on the left after McDonalds, if you are heading upriver. We have a fabulous program this month with Sandi M. doing a presentation on Challenges. Sandi has done close to 20 challenge pieces (winning ribbons on many of them) and will share them all with us, telling us about her "creative process," how she comes up with her original interpretations of  challenge themes, how she draws her patterns and so on. It promises to be an interesting and very inspiring program. You won't want to miss this meeting!!

Did you know that this is National Sewing Month? What a great way to celebrate September and our return to Guild!! I hope you are finding some time to spend with your machine!   :)

Congrats to FQG members who put quilts in this week's Exhibition. I saw many many ribbons on "our girl's" quilts- Congrats to Gwenda M on having a Grand Champion quilt! What a beauty it is! Also to Jeanne Kaye S., Susan M. and Joyce H., all ribbon winners!

Next week is the KVQG show in Quispamsis. Info is on the sidebar under Upcoming Shows and Events. The show runs Thursday to Saturday. Other shows this fall in Charlottetown, Halifax, Miramichi and Amherst are also listed there; I do my best to keep this list as "up to date" as I can, so check there often.

See you next Tuesday night! Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

And the winners are...

Tonight at our final meeting/potluck dinner, the Viewers' Choice winners from our show Symphony of Spring, were announced. We were all thrilled with the winners!

The greatest number of votes went to My Flower Garden by Barb Perry. This quilt is hand-pieced and contains approximately 5,800 hexagons! Even the light background behind all the flowers is hexagons. (She also cut about 2,000 of the hexagon papers herself.) Once the main portion of the quilt was together, it was appliquéd to the borders. If you know Barb, you might know she is a devoted cat-lover, and hidden in a good number of the hexagons are little kitty faces! Congratulations Barb! Well deserved! You blow us away with your hand pieced hexies!

Priceless by Mary Brown was the next Viewers' Choice winner. The design is known as Boston Common, and Mary did an exquisite job on the hand quilting - it really caught the eye of many visitors at our show. Mary travels the greatest distance to attend our meetings, coming all the way from Grand Manan Island as long as the weather co-operates and the ferry crossing is not too rough... Mary we are so thrilled that you continue to travel to be with us each month, and we hope you'll choose to continue joining us for a long while yet! Congratulations Mary! Your beautiful quilt is well named, and very deserving!

Roberts' Garden by Alice Kirkpatrick was the third Viewers' Choice winner. Alice is a long time guild member and she has been producing exceptional quilts for many many years. Alice is not only a fine hand quilter, she also does top notch hand appliqué. This quilt features both of these talents as well as some three dimensional appliqué. Another beautiful quilt! Congratulations Alice! Another ribbon to add to your large collection!

Thank you to all who visited our show and voted. You did a great job of choosing our winners! We would not be able to award these ribbons without you and your input. We hope you are as pleased with the results as we are!

Final meeting tonight.

The year has flown by and tonight is our final meeting and potluck dinner. Don't forget the earlier start time - we aim to eat around 6:30. Bring your hot dishes hot and ready to serve, and your cold dishes chilled. Please label any dishes that contain nuts and remember your plate, mug and cutlery.
The Viewers' Choice winners from our show will be announced and on display.
Good food, good company, ribbons and prizes! Can't wait! See you there!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Symphony of Spring 2015 Show

Symphony of Spring is now behind us. What a wonderful show it was! There was so much variety in the entries; there was something for everyone as they say! All comments from our 550+ visitors were favourable. We are so lucky to have so many talented and creative gals in our guild. A good number of the entries were original works. It certainly was a show we can all be proud of!
Thank you to all members who put pieces in the show- without you there would be no show, simple as that! And thanks to all of you who visited, worked a shift, contributed cookies, and spread the word about the show to all your family, friends and neighbours.
A huge thanks goes to the hanging committee for their labours; quilts were hung, then moved around until all were showcased at their best. Although there was not space to hang every piece "full out" it is hoped you felt your pieces were displayed well. It is always a challenge to find the right spot for every quilt.
Gwenda M and Barb P blew us away with their spring decorations.Gwenda came up with the idea of songbirds to go with our "Symphony of Spring" title and she outdid herself with the birds, birdhouses and thread nests. Barb took it a step further and made 20 teeny tiny quilts to hang out of the birdhouse "entrances." After all it's been a cold spring and those mama birds have to keep their babies warm! Many visitors enjoyed and commented on these extra touches.
Lastly a big thanks to all who worked on the organizing committee. What a great bunch to work with! Tired as we were by the end, we all worked so well together. (I certainly enjoyed every minute of it as I'm sure we all did!)
So - on to some photos. I still have many to edit and once that's done, I'll create a "show photo gallery" which you'll be able to access on the sidebar to the right. To hold you until then, here is a quick recap....

Right from the time you entered the building, there were beautiful quilts to see... this was a lovely grouping in the foyer.

There really was "something for everyone"... from tablerunners....
Guilded Vine by Sandi MacMillan
Berry Blues by Barbara Cross

to "wildlife"...
Tiger by Marg Wood

Swan by Gwenda Mattinson

to portraits.
The Corey Boys by Trudy Corey

From machine embroidered
Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Jane Gunn
to hand embroidered,
Love Me, Love My Cat by Sandi MacMillan

Legacy to Family by Barb Perry

and from machine pieced
Will Your Anchor Hold? by Mary Brown

to hand pieced.....
My Flower Garden by Barb Perry

There was lovely hand applique
Robert's Garden by Alice Kirkpatrick

`and wool applique.
Imperial Blooms by Ann VanWart

There were pastel quilts,
Cozy Cottage Quilt by Joan Cowan
 brightly coloured quilts,
Flight Plan by Cathy White
monochromatic quilts,
Too Many Triangles by Margaret Keddy
and quilts of intense colour.
Jean's Colours by Jean Street
There were quilts with interesting stories behind them.
A Crow Came to my Window by Susan Dobson
The New Brunswick Telephone Company by Helen Steadman

There was wearable art...
Spring Beckons by Kathy Tidswell
and wall art quilts.
Slightly Deco by LaVerne McCallum Deakin

There were quilts of all shapes and sizes, quilts of all colours and styles....  As I said, something for everyone! There were also Challenge quilts and quilts by new guild members and these will be featured in my next post. Stay tuned!

If you are wondering who won the Viewers' Choice Awards, that will be announced at our May meeting. I will post the winners here after May 19th, so stay tuned for that too!

Monday, April 13, 2015

FQG Presents "Symphony of Spring 2015"

Our FQG Quilt Show, Symphony of Spring is ready to roll! We hope you will come and join us for a wonderful display of our work. There is a good variety of quilted works to see - traditional, modern, art quilts, hand quilted, machine quilted, you name it! There are Challenge pieces, some pieces from workshops, and many individual projects. There are three vendors on site, Country Crafts and Curtains, Lansdown Studio and River Gallery. As well, you will drive right by a local shop, The Christmas Crab Quiltery,  at 572 New Maryland Highway and she will have 25% off during our  Show, so be sure and stop in there too. Watch for her sandwich board at roadside. There will be light refreshments at the show, in case you need extra energy for more shopping or viewing!   :)

DIRECTIONS to find our Show:

If you are approaching Fredericton from the east (Saint John, Sussex, Moncton, N.S.) on the TCH, do not take Exit 294 to Fredericton, but stay on highway as if heading west to Edmundston. Take Exit 285A to New Maryland. At stop sign, turn right and proceed south along Rte. 101 for 4.4km to the New Maryland Centre (754 New Maryland Highway.) You will know you are almost there when the highway takes a big curve to the left- at this point you will stay straight, and the NMC is immediately on your right, just behind the ball field.

If you are approaching Fredericton from the west (Woodstock, Grand Falls, etc.) on the TCH, do not take Exit 280 to Fredericton, but stay on the highway as if heading to Saint John/Moncton. Take Exit 285A-B to New Maryland. At stop sign, turn right and proceed south along Rte. 101 for 4.1km to the New Maryland Centre (754 New Maryland Highway.) You will know you are almost there when the highway takes a big curve to the left- at this point you will stay straight, and the NMC is immediately on your right, just behind the ball field.

If you are approaching Fredericton on Route 8 from Miramichi, the new "Marysville Bypass" brings you out very close to the Princess Margaret Bridge. Proceed across the Princess Margaret Bridge and up the hill, then take the Regent Street exit. At lights turn left towards New Maryland. Proceed straight out Regent Street passing the Regent Mall and Costco. You will be on Rte. 101 heading south. The New Maryland Centre is 6.9 km from the Regent Mall. You will know you are almost there when the highway takes a big curve to the left- at this point you will stay straight, and the NMC is immediately on your right, just behind the ball field.

If you are in the city of Fredericton, proceed up Regent Street passing the Regent Mall and Costco. You will be on Rte. 101 heading south. The New Maryland Centre is 6.9 km from the Regent Mall. You will know you are almost there when the highway takes a big curve to the left- at this point you will stay straight, and the NMC is immediately on your right, just behind the ball field.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Looking for an Iron?

This is our first "Guest Post" written by Lee, our newsletter Editor. If you would like to write a Guest Post on a topic that would be of interest to our membership, please let me know. I welcome all submissions. Thanks Lee!

Someone mentioned they were thinking of buying a new iron.  I thought I'd add my observations to their decision process.
This morning I decided to go back to my old Black and Decker iron - no auto shutoff (gasp! yes it's that old) - that I had retired but not turfed.  I retired it because it had left a steam stain on something and I didn't want to risk my husband ironing a shirt in a hurry (which occurs once in a blue moon) and having this happen to him.  For a long time, I used it dry with a spray bottle handy whenever I wanted to steam something, but he must have done that blue moon thing again and I felt bad that there had been risk involved!
Anyway, I bought a Sunbeam Steam Master, a not cheap but not expensive model.  At the time, it seemed the right weight and size. When I first started using it, I realized that what I missed most of all was the sharply angled point of my Black and Decker - I could nudge that point into little pieced spots.  I now had a more rounded point that was okay but not the tool the other had been.  This style of point is probably gone from all makes now, I bet, because it looks less graceful and flow-y than what they now sell.
Comparing them today, my biggest realization is that the Sunbeam has a lot less flat surface to touch my pieced work because it has so many steam holes.  (Possibly the name "Steam Master" should have been a clue?!)  My old Black and Decker just has an outside V line of holes, giving me a nice large flat surface to press my blocks. If you are in the market for an iron, I suggest you consider how you will use it and choose a weight, shape and faceplate that works for you.
Since piecing is the main use of an iron in my house, with steam pressing clothing being a very small percentage activity, the new iron is going into the closet and the old one is returning to duty, but now with a label for my husband that says "no steam allowed". Hopefully he'll remember there is a steam iron in the cupboard!
~ Lee M.

Monday, March 30, 2015

NB Contemporary Quilt Award

Please Note: The Entry Deadline for this Award is Monday April 6, 2015.

New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award

The Marco Polo Quilters Guild and the New Brunswick Museum are proud to present the biennial, juried New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award (NBCQA).

The award winning quilt will be purchased for the permanent collection of the New Brunswick Museum. 
The award was conceived by Kathy Coffin, a member of the Marco Polo Quilters Guild, who generously donated funds raised by the sales of her original appliqué pattern of the Purple Violet, a beautiful design depicting our provincial flower.
The purpose of the NBCQA is to ensure that quilts made after 1960 in New Brunswick are represented the New Brunswick Museum’s collection.  In the past 50 years or so, there have been major changes in quilt-making tools as well as in the methods used for making quilts.  Some quilts have moved off beds onto walls and, with this expansion in their use, different styles of quilts have developed.  Ultimately, if it is to tell the most complete story, the New Brunswick Museum’s quilt collection must include examples of what has been happening in quilt-making in New Brunswick since 1960.  

The following criteria will be considered as part of the selection process:
        * The quilt must have been made since 1960.
        * The quilter is a resident of New Brunswick.
        * The quilter is a member of a New Brunswick quilt guild.
       * Workmanship will be reviewed closely.
Submission procedures:
       * Deadline for Submissions: Monday April 6, 2015
       * Submissions are restricted to three pieces per quilter.
       *  Initial selection will be made from photographs.  Two photographs of each piece must be submitted: an overall view and a view of details.

Quilters are urged to submit pieces of all sizes and approaches.
       * Please include an artist’s statement, which might also include the story behind the quilt and any other pertinent information that may be of interest to the jury.
       * The jury will choose up to three submissions as finalists. Quilters will be notified by telephone to arrange delivery of selected quilts to the jury.
       * The NBCQA winner will be announced and the award presented at the Gala Opening of the Marco Polo Quilt Fair.
       * The jury reserves the right to hang the winning quilt at the Marco Polo Quilt Fair.
       * The other finalists’ quilts will be awarded Honourable Mention at the Marco Polo Quilt Fair Gala and at the jury’s discretion may be displayed also. 

 Jury Procedures:
       * The jury will consist of five members selected by the Marco Polo Quilters Guild and the New Brunswick Museum.
       * The jury reserves  the right to approach quilters and encourage their submissions in order to increase the array of submissions
       * Depending on submissions and funding, the jury reserves the right to present more than one award.
       * All jury decisions are final.
Submissions should be addressed to: New Brunswick Contemporary Quilt Award, New Brunswick Museum, 277 Douglas Avenue, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2K 5L6

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tip Time

Following are a number of tips shared by our members at our monthly meetings. I will add to this list each month with the most recent tips at the top of the list. This list is by no means complete... if you gave a Tip this year at one of our meetings, could you please get in touch with me so I can add it here.
You can easily access this post at any time by clicking on "Tip Time" on the sidebar.

* The soft foam "toe separators" for doing your own pedicure are perfect for holding a few bobbins if you are going to a workshop or class, and don't need to take your entire bobbin collection. You can find these at the Dollar Store. ~ Susan D.

* Recycling is smart these days, we throw away so much plastic! I try to re-purpose as much plastic as I can.
Fererro Rocher containers: the 200g. size are the perfect size to hold 2" and 2.5" squares (or rectangles) that you may be cutting for a scrap project. They take up very little room at the back of my cutting table.

 The larger size (8.5" square) is great for holding balls of perle cottons (nicely contained, well fitting lid, easy to stack and see through so you know what you have.)~ Linda H.

The little plastic "tables" from a take-out pizza box make handy bobbin holders when turned upside down. I sometimes use a lighter weight thread and want to keep those bobbins separate from my normal bobbins, as it's difficult to tell just by looking at them that they are "different", so stacking them on these little holders works well, I know at a glance that those are my finer threads for Miniatures. ~ Linda H.

* Temporary Sleeve.  If you are planning to put a sleeve on a bed quilt for our upcoming show, you might want to consider a temporary sleeve, if you had planned to remove it after the show. This method is quicker to do and easier to remove after as well. Prepare your sleeve as usual - cut a strip of fabric 12.5" wide by the width of your quilt minus an inch or two. "Hem" the ends by folding in 1/4" twice, press and stitch- this finishes the ends nicely and assures your sleeve will be just a bit shorter than the width of your quilt. Now fold the sleeve right sides together and stitch the long seam. Press seam open and turn sleeve right side out. Pin sleeve to wrong side of quilt across the top edge, assuring the top edge of your sleeve lies just above where your binding meets the backing (but not so far up as to show on the right side of quilt.) Now turn to the right side and, by machine, stitch in the ditch between binding and quilt with clear monofilament thread (or thread to match quilt top) and a stitch length of about 3-4 (8-10 stitches per inch). This secures the top edge of the sleeve, and now you only have to hand-stitch the sleeve's bottom edge across to secure it.
~ Sue R.

* The super dooper sticky rollers (which are washable to restore their stickiness) are wonderful for removing threads, pet hair, etc. from quilts as well as your clothes. Wash them with Blue Dove liquid dish soap to restore their stickiness.
 ~ Linda H.

* There are small pads of 1/4" graph paper on the market now, they measure 4" x 6" - great to have in your purse when you're out and about and see inspiration for a quilt block. It is so much easier to sketch it out on graph paper. I got mine at Targets, but they are no doubt available elsewhere. Mine were two pads in a pkg. for about $5.00. ~ Linda H.

* Recycling. If you are cutting up scraps into squares, rectangles or other particular sizes/shapes, they can be stored in plastic salad greens "bins". These are "free" storage units - once you've had your salad, just  rinse out, let dry and they are ready to re-purpose in your sewing space. You can sort by color, size, or shape.
~ Lois M.

* Mitred Corners.  Most of the time we use mitred corners to finish edges on projects such as tablecloths, with the mitre on the underside.  But if we use the mitre on the top and insert another fabric or fabric/batting combination, we get another version of this technique.  A one metre cut of nursery print, with wide borders and mitred corners, is the perfect backdrop for a piece of Minkie tucked under the borders.  Top stitch the inner edge of the border and you have a quick baby blanket that is soft and cozy. This method is also an alternative to binding placemats and is great for co-ordinating fabrics.
~ Jeanne Kaye S.